Meteorologist interrupts live TV weather report to call family about tornado warning

Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer interrupted his weather report on NBC Washington Thursday night to call his family and let them know of a nearby tornado warning.

Kammerer was on the air around 8:45 p.m. doing a lengthy weather report when the National Weather Service released the warnings.

The path goes “right over my house,” Kammerer said on air with his cellphone in hand, standing in front of a weather map showing the storm’s path.

Kammerer then called home and his son answered.

The meteorologist told his son that the family had to go to the basement for safety reasons.

“I have to warn my kids,” Kammerer said after hanging up the phone and resuming his live weather report.

Minutes after Kammerer returned to the air, the NWS canceled the tornado warning.

Fellow meteorologist James Morrow works for NWS headquarters in Silver Spring, which was also included in the tornado warning.

He watched as Kammerer made his Thursday phone call on the air.

“The decision to intervene is not an easy one for stations and for meteorologists to ask permission to do so,” Morrow told NPR. “But as a consumer of their food and a scientist who understands the risks of strong tornado storms like this, it was encouraging to see this kind of coverage for what could have become a very serious situation.”

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Dale D. Schrum